August 23, 2012
Indefinite Detention Is Not a New Policy
The government’s claim that it can indefinitely detain American citizens living on American soil based upon a vague “suspicion” that they might be supporting or affiliated with bad guys is disturbing.
But this is nothing new …
J. Edgar Hoover, then-actor Ronald Reagan, Earl Warren, and UC Berkeley officials all agreed acted to blacklist professors – McCarthy-style – who they suspected of being radical.
Indeed, as award-winning investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld explains today, the FBI devised plans to arrest without warrant and then indefinitely detain Berkeley professors and students who were champions of free speech in the event of any national emergency:
Japanese-Americans, of course, were interned – or “indefinitely detained” – until the end of WWII. In 1988, Congress passed a bill, subsequently signed by President Reagan, apologizing for the internment, and confessing that the government’s actions were based on:
Race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.
Unfortunately, our leaders seemed to have learned nothing from past mistakes.
Constitutional Challenges Contemplated Long Before 9/11
Congress members and legal scholars tell us that the Constitution has largely been suspended since 9/11.
But the suspension of the Constitution and declaration of martial law in the event that the President declares a “State of National Emergency” – for example, based upon widespread the U.S. people’s opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad – was contemplated by Ronald Reagan’s administration in the 1980s.
See this July 5, 1987 report in the Miami Herald.
In Fact, Everything Happening Now Was Foreshadowed Long Before 9/11
These may seem like isolated examples of extreme plans which were ever implemented.
But virtually all of our “post-9/11 reality” was actually planned long before September 11th :
After 9/11 the government drew up the Patriot Act within 20 days and it was passed.
The Patriot Act is huge and I remember someone asking a Justice Department official how did they write such a large statute so quickly, and of course the answer was that it has been sitting in the drawers of the Justice Department for the last 20 years waiting for the event where they would pull it out.
(4:30 into this video).